25 Jul Statement in media regarding South Africa sending astronauts to the ISS
It is appreciated that the attention garnered from a post regarding the intention of South Africa to train and send Astronauts to the International Space Station in a few years has created such interest and excitement amongst our citizens. The South African National Space Agency aims to clarify the statement made by CEO, Mr Humbulani Mudau during a bi-lateral discussion with our Russian space partners, ROSCOSMOS on 23 July 2023.
As part of the discussion between partners, aspects of collaboration in various sectors of space science and technology were explored and SANSA does acknowledge aspirations for having a south African astronaut/ s trained and contributing to global space exploration for the benefit of humanity amongst other space missions and projects that are aimed at positively impacting life on Earth.
Mr Mudau states that, “We are still years away from the realisation of this incredible opportunity; however, SANSA remains committed to formalising such plans with our space partners in the near future. We will be sure to make the announcement a priority to inspire and excite the future generations of Afronauts to take their place in global space.”
SANSA is already embarking on contributing to human space travel, through partnership in developing the next Deep Space Network to support manned and unmanned space exploration missions. The construction of the infrastructure to be used has commenced in Matjiesfontein, Western Cape and will be complete in 2025.
Other exciting collaborative projects in space are being explored with the BRICS space partners in meetings at SANSA in Hermanus this week. We value and encourage these partnerships to be able to contribute meaningfully to global knowledge about life on our planet as well as understanding the universe.
More about the cooperative BRICS space projects will be shared following the conclusion of the briefings from the relevant space agencies.